‘Only in Chile’ contest could send you to South America to sip some wine

The Only in Chile contest will send a lucky winner off on an adventureChile truly is an amazing travel destination, offering snow capped peaks, beautiful coastlines, sprawling deserts, and so much more. Whether you’re looking to experience an unforgettable outdoor adventure or be spoiled at a luxury resort, the country can provide both options, and just about everything in between.

The diversity of travel options in the South American country is the basis of a new contest sponsored by The Wines of Chile Experience. Their “Only in Chile” photo competition invites travelers to submit an album of images to the organization’s Facebook page, and then rally their friends and family to vote for the submission. The person who garners the most votes will be swept off to Chile for a wine-themed adventure of their choice.

All submissions must fall into one of five themes, which include: For the Love of Chile; Wine & Stars; Urban Wine Retreat; Harvest Holiday or Horses & Huasos. All entries must include five photos to their gallery that adhere to these themes. The contest, which is open to U.S. residents only, runs through November 5th, with a winner being announced on November 14th.

That lucky winner will receive airfare for two to Chile, five nights stay in a hotel, food and beverages, wine tours, and other activities based on the theme of their choice. The total prize package is valued at roughly $15,000.

As of this writing, there are only five entries listed on the contest’s Facebook page. (View the competition here!) That means, with just over two weeks to go in the contest, anyone can still win this fantastic prize. I was fortunate enough to visit Chile earlier this year, and had an amazing time. It truly is one of my favorite travel destinations and this is a great opportunity to explore the country for yourself.

Just remember, it includes airfare for two. When you win this contest, don’t forget who tipped you off to it.

Win a travel photography scholarship to South Africa

Learn travel photography in South Africa thanks to Nat Geo and World Nomads.The National Geographic Channel and WorldNomads.com are giving one aspiring photographer the chance of a lifetime. They’ve jointly launched a new contest that will award the winner a photography scholarship that will send them off on assignment in South Africa with wildlife photographer Jason Edwards. While on photo safari they’ll have the opportunity to hone their craft and upon their return, they’ll have their work published on the Nat Geo Channel website.

The contest is open to anyone 18 years or older living in any country on the planet. All entrants should be non-professional photographers with a keen eye and adventurous spirit who are looking to learn new skills and improve their photography. It is recommended that they also have a good level of physical fitness and a desire to pursue a career in travel photography.

To enter the contest you must first shoot a series of photos that tell a story of some place that you’ve visited. That place can be down the block or on the other side of the globe, it’s completely up to you. Pick the five photos that best convey your story and write a short caption for each. Then, fill out this online form, including the 300 word essay about yourself and why you should win. The same page allows you to upload your photos and create an online gallery of the images as well. The entries will be judged on originality, ability to tell a story through images, and technique.

The winner will go “on assignment” for eight days in South Africa in early 2012. While there, they’ll work alongside Edwards shooting the landscapes and wildlife of Kruger National Park, while receiving instructions on setting up shots, composing images, and other photographic techniques. The recipient of this travel photography scholarship will also be required to keep a daily journal of their experiences, which they’ll upload to World Nomads upon their return to share with others.

Once the trip is over, Edwards will continue to work with the scholarship recipient during the editing phase, helping them to select their best images, advising on color correcting the photos, and preparing them for submission to the National Geographic Channel website, where they’ll be displayed alongside some of the best photography in the world.

The deadline for entering the contest is November 8th. For further information, checkout the Video FAQ, which is found here.

Having just visited Kruger a few months back, I can tell you that is a wildly beautiful place with amazing opportunities to take great photos. The concentration of animals there is spectacular, and the chance to work with a professional Nat Geo photographer there sounds fantastic.

Win a trip to dive the Great Barrier Reef

Diving the Great Barrier Reef with PADIPADI, the Professional Association of Dive Instructors, is closing in on a very impressive milestone, and to celebrate they’re giving away a very impressive trip. The organization that has trained more scuba divers than any other, is now approaching their 20 millionth certification, and the lucky person who earns that distinction will win a trip for two to dive Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

Last week, PADI launched its “Countdown to 20 Million” campaign, installing a counter on its website to indicate how close they are to the magic number. As of this writing, they are still more than 46,000 certifications away from the winner, but considering there are over 6000 PADI dive centers and resorts world wide, it seems likely that that number will drop quickly. It should also be pointed out that the contest is open to any certification, so whether you’re a beginner who is just getting started, or a long time veteran looking to pick-up some new skills, you’ll be eligible to take home the prize.

And what a prize it is! The person who earns that 20 millionth certification will receive round-trip airfare to Cairns, Australia, four nights stay in a resort located in Queensland and an additional three nights stay aboard a dive boat. Also included will be all equipment rental, including dive computer, a one hour low level reef flight for checking out the area from the air, and the opportunity to dive up to 11 times. If that wasn’t enough, the winner and their guest will also visit the Daintree Rainforest (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), visit an Aboriginal village, and a “Cuddle a Koala” experience.

If you’ve ever wanted to get dive certified, or already have your certification but want to brush up on your skills, now is the time. Find a PADI site near you and go earn that cert. Who knows, you might even win a great trip to the Great Barrier Reef in the process.

A few years back I had the opportunity to visit the GBR and spend a few days on a live aboard ship. I can tell you that it was a spectacular experience, and while I only snorkeled the area, it was none the less one of the most amazing places I have visited. The reef is truly a wonder to behold, the amount of beautiful sea life that you’ll find there is awe inspiring. If you haven’t been there yourself, then you really should add it to your list of “must see” places. You will not be disappointed.

Spend a month at the museum – literally!

Spend a Month at the Museum!Have you ever walked the halls of a particularly great museum and wished that you could just stay there forever, soaking in the art, historical displays, or scientific demonstrations? Then we have just the thing for you, as the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is hosting its second Month at the Museum contest. The winner gets to live at the museum 24/7 for a full month.

Applications are now being accepted for Month at the Museum 2, with the winner living, breathing, and eating science every day for 30 days straight. While taking up residence at MSI, the person selected will be blogging, tweeting, and posting videos of their experiences at the 14-acre facility. And once the museum closes for the night, they’ll have the run of the place to explore to their heart’s content.

If you’re interested in becoming this year’s temporary tenant, you’ll need to be available to move in from October 19th to November 17th. You’ll also be outfitted with a number of tech gadgets to help you serve as the museum’s ambassador for the month, and you’ll receive $10,000 cash for your trouble as well.

Last year, Kate McGroarty won the job and her experiences are still archived online here. It seems she had a great time and enjoyed her stay at the museum. Perhaps it’s your turn this year?

European Travel Commission launches Facebook contest

Facebook contestThe European Travel Commission (ETC) today announced the launch of their new social media Facebook contest entitled I Wish I Were There. Hosted on the ETC’s official Facebook page, the contest will encourage fans to photoshop images of themselves in their dream European destination and then post the new photos to the ETC Facebook page to be automatically entered to win a Grand Prize trip for two to Europe.

Choosing to vacation in Austria, Croatia or Poland, the Grand Prize winning photo will be picked from the top five photos that got the greatest number of “Likes” obtained by Visit Europe Facebook fans. The national tourism organizations of Austria, Croatia or Poland are sponsoring the prize which includes hotel stays, ground transportation and cultural activities for the winner and one guest.”I Wish I Were There” is one of several social media events targeting the U.S. consumer. The “Follow Your Dreams: Visit Europe” campaign aimed to educate travelers on the compelling tourism offerings available within Europe with an emphasis on history, culture and gastronomy.

The European Travel Commission (@visiteurope) was established in 1948 to promote Europe as a tourism destination and provides travelers with commentary on services and attractions to help plan their visit to Europe.